Extracellular vesicles are spherical bilayered proteolipids, harboring various bioactive molecules. Due to the complexity of the vesicular nomenclatures and components, online searches for extracellular vesicle-related publications and vesicular components are currently challenging.
As a side effect of cancer radiotherapy, immune cells receive varying doses of radiation. Whereas high doses of radiation (>10 Gy) can lead to lymphopenia, lower radiation doses (2-4 Gy) represent a valid treatment option in some hematological cancers, triggering clinically relevant immunological changes. Based on our earlier observations, we hypothesized that lower radiation doses have a direct positive effect on T cells. In this study, we show that 0.6-2.4 Gy radiation enhances proliferation and IFN-? production of PBMC or purified T cells induced by stimulation via the TCR. Radiation with 1.2 Gy also lowered T cell activation threshold and broadened the Th1 cytokine profile. Although radiation alone did not activate T cells, when followed by TCR stimulation, ERK1/2 and Akt phosphorylation increased above that induced by stimulation alone. These changes were followed by an early increase in glucose uptake. Naive (CD45RA(+)) or memory (CD45RA(-)) T cell responses to stimulation were boosted at similar rates by radiation. Whereas increased Ag-specific cytotoxic activity of a CD8(+) T cell line manifested in a 4-h assay (10-20% increase), highly significant (5- to 10-fold) differences in cytokine production were detected in 6-d Ag-stimulation assays of PBMC, probably as a net outcome of death of nonstimulated and enhanced response of Ag-stimulated T cells. T cells from patients receiving pelvic radiation (2.2-2.75 Gy) also displayed increased cytokine production when stimulated in vitro. We report in this study enhanced T cell function induced by synergistic radiation treatment, with potential physiological significance in a wide range of T cell responses.
We have used a novel affinity-based proteomics technology to examine the protein signature of small secreted extracellular vesicles called exosomes. The technology uses a new class of protein binding reagents called SOMAmers® (slow off-rate modified aptamers) and allows the simultaneous precise measurement of over 1000 proteins. Exosomes were highly purified from the Du145 prostate cancer cell line, by pooling selected fractions from a continuous sucrose gradient (within the density range of 1.1 to 1.2 g/ml), and examined under standard conditions or with additional detergent treatment by the SOMAscan™ array (version 3.0). Lysates of Du145 cells were also prepared, and the profiles were compared. Housekeeping proteins such as cyclophilin-A, LDH, and Hsp70 were present in exosomes, and we identified almost 100 proteins that were enriched in exosomes relative to cells. These included proteins of known association with cancer exosomes such as MFG-E8, integrins, and MET, and also those less widely reported as exosomally associated, such as ROR1 and ITIH4. Several proteins with no previously known exosomal association were confirmed as exosomally expressed in experiments using individual SOMAmer® reagents or antibodies in micro-plate assays. Western blotting confirmed the SOMAscan™-identified enrichment of exosomal NOTCH-3, L1CAM, RAC1, and ADAM9. In conclusion, we describe here over 300 proteins of hitherto unknown association with prostate cancer exosomes and suggest that the SOMAmer®-based assay technology is an effective proteomics platform for exosome-associated biomarker discovery in diverse clinical settings.
Fibroblast to myofibroblast differentiation drives effective wound healing and is largely regulated by the cytokine transforming growth factor-?1 (TGF-?1). Myofibroblasts express ?-smooth muscle actin and are present in granulation tissue, where they are responsible for wound contraction. Our previous studies show that fibroblast differentiation in response to TGF-?1 is dependent on and mediated by the linear polysaccharide hyaluronan (HA). Both the HA receptor, CD44, and the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) are involved in this differentiation response. The aim of this study was to understand the mechanisms linking HA-, CD44-, and EGFR-regulated TGF-?1-dependent differentiation. CD44 and EGFR co-localization within membrane-bound lipid rafts was necessary for differentiation, and this triggered downstream mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK/ERK) and Ca(2+)/calmodulin kinase II (CaMKII) activation. We also found that ERK phosphorylation was upstream of CaMKII phosphorylation, that ERK activation was necessary for CaMKII signaling, and that both kinases were essential for differentiation. In addition, HA synthase-2 (HAS2) siRNA attenuated both ERK and CaMKII signaling and sequestration of CD44 into lipid rafts, preventing differentiation. In summary, the data suggest that HAS2-dependent production of HA facilitates TGF-?1-dependent fibroblast differentiation through promoting CD44 interaction with EGFR held within membrane-bound lipid rafts. This induces MAPK/ERK, followed by CaMKII activation, leading to differentiation. This pathway is synergistic with the classical TGF-?1-dependent SMAD-signaling pathway and may provide a novel opportunity for intervention in wound healing.
We propose a straightforward method to estimate the purity of vesicle preparations by comparing the ratio of nano-vesicle counts to protein concentration, using tools such as the increasingly available NanoSight platform and a colorimetric protein assay such as the BCA-assay. Such an approach is simple enough to apply to every vesicle preparation within a given laboratory, assisting researchers as a routine quality control step. Also, the approach may aid in comparing/standardising vesicle purity across diverse studies, and may be of particular importance in evaluating vesicular biomarkers. We herein propose some criteria to aid in the definition of pure vesicles.
Extracellular adenosine is elevated in cancer tissue, and it negatively regulates local immune responses. Adenosine production from extracellular ATP has attracted attention as a mechanism of regulatory T cell-mediated immune regulation. In this study, we examined whether small vesicles secreted by cancer cells, called exosomes, contribute to extracellular adenosine production and hence modulate immune effector cells indirectly. We found exosomes from diverse cancer cell types exhibit potent ATP- and 5AMP-phosphohydrolytic activity, partly attributed to exosomally expressed CD39 and CD73, respectively. Comparable levels of activity were seen with exosomes from pleural effusions of mesothelioma patients. In such fluids, exosomes accounted for 20% of the total ATP-hydrolytic activity. Exosomes can perform both hydrolytic steps sequentially to form adenosine from ATP. This exosome-generated adenosine can trigger a cAMP response in adenosine A(2A) receptor-positive but not A(2A) receptor-negative cells. Similarly, significantly elevated cAMP was also triggered in Jurkat cells by adding exosomes with ATP but not by adding exosomes or ATP alone. A proportion of healthy donor T cells constitutively express CD39 and/or CD73. Activation of T cells by CD3/CD28 cross-linking could be inhibited by exogenously added 5AMP in a CD73-dependent manner. However, 5AMP converted to adenosine by exosomes inhibits T cell activation independently of T cell CD73 expression. This T cell inhibition was mediated through the adenosine A(2A) receptor. In summary, the data highlight exosome enzymic activity in the production of extracellular adenosine, and this may play a contributory role in negative modulation of T cells in the tumor environment.
There is a growing interest in the cell-cell communication roles in cancer mediated by secreted vesicles termed exosomes. In this study, we examined whether exosomes produced by cancer cells could transmit information to normal stromal fibroblasts and trigger a cellular response. We found that some cancer-derived exosomes could trigger elevated ?-smooth muscle actin expression and other changes consistent with the process of fibroblast differentiation into myofibroblasts. We show that TGF-? is expressed at the exosome surface in association with the transmembrane proteoglycan betaglycan. Although existing in a latent state, this complex was fully functional in eliciting SMAD-dependent signaling. Inhibiting either signaling or betaglycan expression attenuated differentiation. While the kinetics and overall magnitude of the response were similar to that achieved with soluble TGF-?, we identified important qualitative differences unique to the exosomal route of TGF-? delivery, as exemplified by a significant elevation in fibroblast FGF2 production. This hitherto unknown trigger for instigating cellular differentiation in a distinctive manner has major implications for mechanisms underlying cancer-recruited stroma, fibrotic diseases, and wound-healing responses.
The effect of radiation therapy (RT) to the pelvis on circulating T cells was studied in prostate cancer (PCa) patients to provide a baseline for a more informed design of combination radioimmunotherapy. Peripheral blood samples taken from 12 PCa patients with locally advanced tumor before, during, and after hypofractionated RT were analyzed for T cell phenotype and function. There was significantly more loss of naive and early memory compared with more differentiated T cells during RT. The proportions of annexin-V(+) and Fas-expressing T cells were elevated in patients during RT and in PBMC irradiated in vitro (< or = 5.0 Gy), with preferential increases in CD45RA(+) T cells. The baseline level of apoptosis of CD45RA(-) T cells increased > 2-fold in the presence of an IkappaB-kinase inhibitor, indicating a protective effect via this pathway. T cell proliferation was impaired during RT with IL-2-dependent recovery post-RT. Recall T cell responses to common viral Ags, measured by IFN-gamma production, were little affected by RT. In vitro irradiation of healthy donor PBMCs resulted in a significantly increased frequency of responding T cells, due at least partly to the preferential elimination of CD45RA(+) T cells. Most importantly, antitumor CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cell responses were detectable after, but not before or during RT. The results indicate that generating tumor-specific T cell responses before RT and boosting their activity post-RT are ways likely to amplify the frequency and function of antitumor T cells, with implications for scheduling immunotherapy in PCa.
Exosomes are nanometer-sized vesicles, secreted by various cell types, present in biological fluids that are particularly rich in membrane proteins. Ex vivo analysis of exosomes may provide biomarker discovery platforms and form non-invasive tools for disease diagnosis and monitoring. These vesicles have never before been studied in the context of bladder cancer, a major malignancy of the urological tract. We present the first proteomics analysis of bladder cancer cell exosomes. Using ultracentrifugation on a sucrose cushion, exosomes were highly purified from cultured HT1376 bladder cancer cells and verified as low in contaminants by Western blotting and flow cytometry of exosome-coated beads. Solubilization in a buffer containing SDS and DTT was essential for achieving proteomics analysis using an LC-MALDI-TOF/TOF MS approach. We report 353 high quality identifications with 72 proteins not previously identified by other human exosome proteomics studies. Overrepresentation analysis to compare this data set with previous exosome proteomics studies (using the ExoCarta database) revealed that the proteome was consistent with that of various exosomes with particular overlap with exosomes of carcinoma origin. Interrogating the Gene Ontology database highlighted a strong association of this proteome with carcinoma of bladder and other sites. The data also highlighted how homology among human leukocyte antigen haplotypes may confound MASCOT designation of major histocompatability complex Class I nomenclature, requiring data from PCR-based human leukocyte antigen haplotyping to clarify anomalous identifications. Validation of 18 MS protein identifications (including basigin, galectin-3, trophoblast glycoprotein (5T4), and others) was performed by a combination of Western blotting, flotation on linear sucrose gradients, and flow cytometry, confirming their exosomal expression. Some were confirmed positive on urinary exosomes from a bladder cancer patient. In summary, the exosome proteomics data set presented is of unrivaled quality. The data will aid in the development of urine exosome-based clinical tools for monitoring disease and will inform follow-up studies into varied aspects of exosome manufacture and function.
Recently, nanometer sized vesicles (termed exosomes) have been described as a component of urine. Such vesicles may be a useful non-invasive source of markers in renal disease. Their utility as a source of markers in urological cancer remains unstudied. Our aim in this study was to investigate the feasibility and value of analysing urinary exosomes in prostate cancer patients undergoing standard therapy.
Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are membraneous vesicles released by a variety of cells into their microenvironment. Recent studies have elucidated the role of EVs in intercellular communication, pathogenesis, drug, vaccine and gene-vector delivery, and as possible reservoirs of biomarkers. These findings have generated immense interest, along with an exponential increase in molecular data pertaining to EVs. Here, we describe Vesiclepedia, a manually curated compendium of molecular data (lipid, RNA, and protein) identified in different classes of EVs from more than 300 independent studies published over the past several years. Even though databases are indispensable resources for the scientific community, recent studies have shown that more than 50% of the databases are not regularly updated. In addition, more than 20% of the database links are inactive. To prevent such database and link decay, we have initiated a continuous community annotation project with the active involvement of EV researchers. The EV research community can set a gold standard in data sharing with Vesiclepedia, which could evolve as a primary resource for the field.
Kidney biopsy is the gold-standard diagnostic test for intrinsic renal disease, but requires hospital admission and carries a 3% risk of major complications. Current non-invasive prognostic indicators such as urine protein quantification have limited predictive value. Better diagnostic and prognostic tests for chronic kidney disease patients are a major focus for industry and academia, with efforts to date directed largely at urinary proteomic approaches. microRNAs constitute a recently identified class of endogenous short non-coding single-stranded RNA oligonucleotides that regulate gene expression post-transcriptionally. Quantification of urinary microRNAs offers an alternative approach to the identification of chronic kidney disease biomarkers.
Exosomes are small vesicles secreted in relative abundance by cancer cells, which may prove useful as disease markers. However, exosomes also exhibit potent functions; modulating the behavior of immune- and other cells. Bridging our understanding of their molecular phenotype and functional mechanisms will provide key insight into their importance in cancer.
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